Gene Sperling, Former White House Chief Economic Adviser, Joins the Council to Advance Universal Education

September 23, 2002

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NEW YORK, September 20, 2002 – Gene Sperling, President Clinton’s national economic adviser and former director of the National Economic Council, has joined the Council as senior fellow for economic policy and director of the Center for Universal Education. “Gene will put international education on the U.S. foreign policy agenda, where it belongs to get the necessary attention,” said Council President Leslie H. Gelb. During his years in the White House, Sperling played a lead role in passage of debt relief for poor nations, and led the U.S. Delegation to the World Education Forum, where the millennium goal of universal primary education by 2015 was set.

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The Center for Universal Education will produce concrete, policy-related studies and facilitate discussions on how to overcome the obstacles to basic education in the developing world. “Basic education for the world’s poorest children—especially girls—is a building block for virtually every development goal, from raising standards of living to improving health, increasing agricultural efficiency and promoting democracy,” said Sperling.

Sperling also serves as the co-chair of the Advisory Board of the Basic Education Coalition and is the chairman of the U.S. chapter of the Global Campaign for Education. He has published articles on universal education in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Financial Times.

Sperling advises the World Bank, works with the U.N. Development Programme on its Millennium Education Goals, and seeks to inform members of Congress and the administration on this important issue. Over the past year, he has coordinated forums on global aid and the state of education in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in a recent conference addressed education challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Prior to joining the Council, Sperling was a visiting fellow at The Brookings Institution. He is also a contributing editor and columnist for Bloomberg News and a consultant and contributing writer for NBC’s The West Wing, and serves on the Board of Governors for the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. Sperling graduated from the University of Minnesota and Yale Law School and attended Wharton Business School.

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